Best Time to Buy a Boat and What Type of Boat to Buy?
The boating industry is one of the fastest-growing segments in the leisure tourism industry. If you own a rental boat business or a tour boat business, you need to keep your business ahead of your competitors and need to know everything about how to pick the best boat for your tour and rental company.
Decide on your budget
Determining your demand is the first step in deciding on your budget. If you have high demand, you may want to investigate a larger boat or even multiple boats to keep up with all your bookings. You also need to determine if you need a bigger boat or just more boats in general. Once you decide on this you can look by price range. If you’re unsure where to start, there are great boat options you can get for under $25,000, under $50,000, and under $100,000.
A great option to look into for a pontoon rental is the Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 DLX because it can fit up to 12 people safely, has all the top-of-the-line features, and won’t break the bank.
Consider a Used Boat
If you are looking for a larger boat but want to save money, buying used is a great option. The same goes for a smaller boat if you want all the best features but do not want to break the bank. Larger boats, such as tour boats and passenger boats, are perfect to buy used because they’re manufactured less often and are incredibly durable. For example, catamarans are a great option to buy used because they are expensive new, and they hold their value well. A great used catamaran to investigate is the Lagoon 410, which retails used for 120k to 250k.
Know your environment
Are your tours and rentals in the ocean? In a swamp? On the lake? Make sure you pick a boat best suited for the environment you are running your company in and the people who are renting from you or booking your tours. If you’re on a lake, a pontoon boat is a great option for you, or if you’re running parasail tours on the ocean you’ll want a specialty speed boat or motorboat. Knowing your environment allows you to purchase the best boat for your business activities, which will attract more customers.
Check out boat tours in person
You can research many different boat companies and find out their boat fleet online but seeing a boat in person can help you decide what company is best for your touring or rental company. Whether it’s going to boat shows, showrooms, or even checking out the fleet of a competitor, going in person will give you a better idea of if a boat is a right fit for you. There are also new boating rental apps, which can allow you to test out a boat you're looking at purchasing and really get a feel for it. This can save you the costly error of buying a boat and not realizing until after that it is not the right fit for your company.
Don’t skimp on safety and comfort
When you are picking the best boat for your touring or rental company, you also want to make sure it is safe. Making sure your boat is suitable for your environment, whether it be lake or ocean, is imperative to ensure your customers will be safe. You need to determine the specific safety needs for the boat you want as well because each vessel has different requirements. Looking into a sailboat? Stability is the most important safety factor. Looking into a powerboat? You may need extra training for your renters. Another thing to keep in mind if you have customers who are pregnant, elderly, or have any special needs, you will also want to make sure the boat is comfortable and has, or can be modified to have, accommodations for them. You will want the boat to have enough room for passengers to move around and still have the best experience.
Make sure you have enough storage space
Depending on what your company does on the boat, you may need to have plenty of storage space. If you plan to bring food or drinks on board, if you plan to bring bags or other items for your customers, or if you need to store equipment, such as fishing or snorkeling gear, you will need to make sure you have extra room for that as well. A center console boat is the best choice for your company if storage is your main priority of yours. These boats have great uses for their space and are perfect for storing fishing equipment and gear safely and efficiently.
When you are choosing a boat for your touring or rental company, the most important thing to do is make sure you do your research. You need to know everything there is about the boat you are purchasing because it is going to be a focus of your business and you want to ensure all your guests' safety by knowing it inside and out. When adding new boats to your fleet, you want to make sure you have booking and reservation software to take care of your business and all your new customers.